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PSG one step closer to Champions League Dream

Paris Saint Germain battled back from a goal down to secure a 1-1 draw with Valencia, booking their place in the quarter finals of the Champions League for the first time in 18 years with a 3-2 aggregate victory.

It was not a classic, far from it, but PSG were grateful to Ezequiel Lavezzi who’s goal cancelled out Jonas’ opener for the visitors; and the club’s Qatari owners will be delighted that the club is a step closer to their dream of major silverware at the club.

With Zlatan Ibrahimovic suspended and David Beckham unused on the bench PSG had to rely on the pace and trickery of Lucas Moura and Lavezzi to secure their passage into the last eight of Europe’s premier club competition, and although it was not as easy as they would have liked there was elation around the Parc des Princes as the final whistle blew.

It was the lively Lucas who impressed early on for the home side, his lightning pace and neat footwork taking him away from the Valencia defenders on a number of occasions. However the young Brazilian was unable to find the final piece of magic to test Vicente Guaita.

The visitors had the best chance of the opening half with a superb move between Jonas and Roberto Soldado, the front two linking up brilliantly to open up the PSG defence but Salvatore Sirigu was able to get down to and save easily.

What the game needed was a shot of adrenaline, something to awaken the players and give the tie some meaning and just before the hour Jonas delivered that for Valencia. The visitors stole the ball in the attacking third of the pitch, it was fed to the Brazilian and he fired a beautiful right foot shot beyond Sirigu.

That brought the tie level on aggregate but the hosts were still ahead on away goals, however Valencia were now in the ascendancy and were threatening to go ahead in the tie. However PSG were able to stop the visitors as they grabbed an equaliser 10 minutes later through Ezequiel Lavezzi, his fifth in this season’s competition.

Substitute Kevin Gameiro raced through the Valencia half with the ball at his feet, he stumbled his way through the defensive challenges on the edge of the penalty area but the loose ball rolled into Lavezzi’s path. Guaita saved his first effort low down but the ball rebounded to the Argentine and he nudged it into the net.

Despite plenty of late pressure from the visitors PSG were able to hold on to secure their first quarter final in this competition since 1995 when George Weah and David Ginola were delighting crowds in Paris. Carlo Ancelotti may not have been too impressed with his side’s performance but they move onto to the last eight and their feint dreams of lifting the trophy are still alive.

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